Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mets Sweep Cubs, advance to 2015 World Series

NYM Win Series 4-0

So much for Back to the Future Part II. The New York Mets, not the Chicago Cubs are heading to the World Series in 2015. And ironically, it happens on the day that was nationally declared "Back to the Future Day," since October 21, 2015 was the day the fictional characters in the film arrived in the year 2015. 

Oh well, the Mets have been writing their own Hollywood script, and there is still another chapter to write after New York completed a four-game sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night. 

The Mets were powered by home runs from Lucas Duda, Travis d'Aranud and, of course, Daniel Murphy as New York thumped the Cubs, 8-3. 

The Mets left little doubt that this would be their night when they posted four runs in the opening frame to stun Wrigley Field. In the top of the first inning a base hit by Curtis Granderson and a walk to Yoenis Cespedes led to the moment of the series for one Mr. Lucas Duda. Duda had only one RBI the entire postseason, and it all changed on one swing when he lifted a 3-2 pitch over the left-center field wall for a 3-run homer to give the Mets 3-0 lead. 

The home run was the jolt the Mets need, not just from the standpoint of winning Game 4, but from the standpoint of jumpstarting an offense that had struggled at the start of the playoffs. 

Next, Travis d'Aranud cracked a solo home run the opposite way to right to inflate the lead to 4-0. That was really the end of Cubs starter Jason Hammel who lasted only 1.1 innings, allowing five runs on four hits. His NLCS ERA stands at 33.75. Ouch!

Duda's hot night continued into the second inning when he stroked a 2-run single to right to make it 6-0, and by this point, it was just a matter of getting outs for the Mets. 

Steven Matz bent but didn't break, as he worked in-and-out of trouble over 4.2 innings. The fourth inning was really scary for Matz, as he found himself with no one out and the bases loaded. He was able to get Starlin Castro to hit a screamer to David Wright who made the catch for the first out. That was huge, because it could've easily been a 2-run double down the line. Next, Matz was able to get Kyle Schwarber to ground out, driving in a run, and jammed Javier Baez into a pop up down the left field line that Wilmur Flores made a tremendous play on. 

Bartolo Colon would come in for the Mets in the fifth inning, and delivered 1.1 shutout inning to set up the back end of the bullpen. 

Yet even with a 6-1 lead, the Mets were not done scoring runs. In the top of the eighth inning, with David Wright at first base, Daniel Murphy cracked a two-run home run to right to ice the game at 8-1. Murphy's homer was his sixth of the postseason, and it set a new Major League record for the most consecutive days by a player with a homer.

It was a poignant moment that Murphy, a man easily deserving of the NLCS MVP, put an exclamation point on his efforts and on this series with that home run. 

Jeuyrs Famila shut the door on the Cubs in the ninth with a strikeout of Dexter Fowler on a 3-2 pitch, and Mets Nation was finally allowed to begin a long awaited celebration. 

The New York Mets, a team that had been stuck in neutral for years, beginning in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS when Carlos Beltran was caught looking at strike three, have now come full circle. With all of the misery, misfortune, miscalculations, and losing the team endured over the past nine years this championship is one that should be savored forever. The Mets accomplished something nobody thought they could do this year. 

Now they have one last mountain to climb before they rest. 

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